Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Revisiting Guns in Church

Considering recent events in Colorado, a lot of people are re-examining the issue of concealed carry inside of church buildings. Mostly because it was an armed church member who stopped the mass murderer. John the Methodist is conducting a discussion over at his place on the topic.

I've touched on this a couple of times now. The first was almost two years ago when a church in Harford County, Maryland was robbed at gunpoint. The second was about ten months ago and has a more thorough account of my reasoning on the subject. Most of the arguments for prohibition fail to get any traction with me, the two most common are:
  1. "We should trust God to protect us!" Really, does your church have fire insurance? Flood insurance? Regular termite and pest inspections? If you don't trust God to protect the building with his divine presence, how much more should you actively safeguard the people inside the building. Because the church building is just a building, the parishioners are actually God's Church.

  2. "Weapons are evil!" No, weapons are inanimate objects. They are things. They have no intent or moral nature in and of themselves. They only acquire moral nature through the perceptions of people. Some people's perceptions on this subject may get in the way of their worship, which is why concealed carry is a good idea. They'll never know and be disturbed by it.
If I had a concealed carry permit, which I don't because Delaware's permit process is deliberately laborious and labyrinthine, I would probably carry during my usher rotations. I would do it for the same reason I keep my CPR, First Aid, and Defibrillator training current: it is the responsible thing to do. Otherwise, probably not. I don't want firearms to become an idol to me.

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